'Top Chef Masters,' Episode 6: Just The Tasty Bits


Another week, another episode of Top Chef Masters! Finalists Jody Adams, Susur Lee, Marcus Samuelsson, Tony Mantuano, Susan Feniger, Rick Moonen, and Jonathan Waxman were all back to compete for their charities, and for the all-important title of Top Chef.

And so, without further ado, let's get into the eight most interesting moments from the show!


1. Bring On The Quickfire!

For this week's Quickfire challenge, host Kelly Choi told the chefs they'd be creating a meal for "true icons known in every part of the world." No, guys, not the cast of Jersey Shore... but The Simpsons!

More specifically, the chefs were asked to create a gourmet dish inspired by one of the Simpsons characters. Perhaps no one was more distraught about this than Susur, who once again took the opportunity to remind us he was Chinese. "The last cartoon I watched was so long ago," he said. "When I was in Hong Kong... I used to watch one show with a woman who always moved her nose." I honestly wasn't sure if he was talking about Bewitched, or one of the Real Housewives of Orange County.

2. Shrimp Sloppy D'Oh

The best part about the Simpsons challenge was that it was judged by Matt Groening (the show's creator, in case you live under a rock), Matt Selmen (the producer), and Hank Azaria (the voice of many of the characters.) Hearing Apu talking to Kelly Choi about "applying nuts" was hilarious! And the clueless look on Kelly Choi's robotic face was even funnier.

Matt Groening said Jonathan Waxman's Bart Simpson spaghetti dish would have "united Springfield," and everyone loved the donuts and Mexican hot chocolate Susan served in honor of Moe. But in the end, Rick Moonen got his first quickfire win with his Homer Simpson-inspired Shrimp Sloppy D'Oh sandwich. Get it?

3. Susur's Terrifying "Marge" Plate

Jeez, Susur! The challenge was to create a dish inspired by a Simpson... not to give people nightmares for the next decade. That plate looks like the lovechild of Hannibal Lecter and Eric Stoltz in the movie "Mask."

4. Exotic Surf & Turf

For this week's elimination challenge, the chefs had to prepare a surf and turf dish from eight exotic (read: yucky) dishes. The seafood choices included geoduck, monkfish liver, sea cucumber, and jumbo squid, while the meat choices were goat leg, duck tongue, black chicken, and kangaroo.

The black chicken was pretty harsh looking, but not as horrible as the stuffed kangaroo sitting on the table. That thing just looked so sad!

5. The Return Of The Great Wah-Wah-Waxman

Jonathan really had a hard time with this challenge. In fact, he hated it—and he spent the next half hour making sure we all knew exactly how miserable he was. "I have no strategy whatsoever," he whined and complained as he aimlessly wandered through Whole Foods. "I'm all foggy. And that's a bad thing for a chef to be... in a fog."

Thanks for that, Jonathan. Now I'm depressed. Where the hell is that stuffed kangaroo? I need a hug.

6. Hey, Look, It's Andrew Zimmern

Of course Andrew Zimmern, the king of bizarre foods, showed up to judge this extreme eating challenge. Who were you expecting? Betty White?

Andrew seems like a nice guy with a lot of interesting things to say about the experiences he's had, but he's got to be the worst dinner guest of all time.

Ah yes. Nothing like a charming little story about rancid, urinating sharks to really kick up the ol' appetite!

7. This Just In!

8. And The Winner Is...

Things got off to a weird start during judging. Gael Greene grabbed one of Susur's chicken legs, and said she was going to "save it" to scratch Kelly Choi's back later. Whoa, Gael! Hop into a crock pot and simmer down now! This is a family show!

The top three performers were Susan, Rick, and Susur. Ultimately, Susur's poached monkfish liver with black chicken veloute came out on top.

Jonathan, who earlier in the show boasted that he could make "dog shit taste good," got low marks from the judges for his poor presentation and off-putting textures. (And for the record, with respect to the dog shit statement, Waxman, I dare you to try it. I have four chihuahuas. I'll bring the specimens. You name the time and place. Perhaps Zimmern and Gael Greene will be available to judge?)

Jonathan and Jody got the lowest scores, but in the end, Jody Adams was eliminated because of her undercooked goat leg. Before she left, she took the opportunity to share some advice she once got from her mentor, Julia Child: "You stop, you die."

Great. Now I'm depressed again. Where the hell did I put that stuffed kangaroo?

What did you think of this week's episode, Serious Eaters? Have you ever tried geoduck, black chicken, duck tongue, or any of the other exotic foods featured in tonight's episode?